Dear co-presidents of the URC2023,
Ladies and gentlemen,
London, Copenhagen, Toronto, Vilnius, Lugano and now London again - and next year Berlin…
The thread that binds these URC meetings is our common resolve to give brighter prospects to the people of Ukraine.
They are not alone in the face of adversity.
I would like to congratulate the co-organisers Ukraine and the United Kingdom in bringing us all together here, despite the war.
More than a year ago, the Russian aggression against Ukraine forced us to move from the momentum of “Reform” to the urgency of “Recovery”.
Together with Ukraine, we have succeeded in ensuring the “URC cycles” despite the dramatic conditions.
The first Ukraine Recovery Conference took place last year in Switzerland.
In my hometown Lugano, we agreed on the seven Lugano principles, the compass for the recovery of Ukraine.
The Lugano Declaration remains the only official document on the reconstruction of Ukraine agreed by 41 states and 18 international organisations.
I am glad to see that the circle of countries has been enlarged at this URC, and I would like to invite those countries to join the Declaration of Lugano.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m deeply convinced that we need to consider everything in parallel: humanitarian action, reconstruction and reform.
In other words: we need to act and think in the short, medium and long term, by pooling together our experience, our strengths and our skills.
1. First, we have to deal with the humanitarian emergency.
We have welcomed and hosted refugees; delivered humanitarian aid; and reiterated obligations under international humanitarian law.
We'll keep going for as long as it takes.
Under Switzerland’s presidency last month, the Security Council held a meeting on the safety of nuclear installations in Ukraine.
I had the privilege to organize with the DG of the IAEA Rafael Grossi an open meeting to protect the Zaporizhzhia power plant by means of five concrete principles.
Humanitarian mine action is also key to recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine.
2. Secondly we need a war risk insurance mechanism that will allow the private sector to invest.
And we also need a Damage Loss and Needs Assessment, in order to quantify the damages and prioritize reconstruction.
Ukraine cannot be rebuilt without recognition and compensation for the victims.
The creation of a register of damage approved by the Council of Europe last month is an important first step in setting up an international mechanism. I strongly support this initiative.
a) War risk insurance
b) Register of damage
3. Finally, the recovery process has to be transparent and accountable to the people of Ukraine
Switzerland is an active supporter of Ukraine's anti-corruption system and currently provides assistance to the Ministry of Infrastructure on safeguarding the integrity of the recovery efforts.
The rule of law and the principle of good governance must be strengthened as of now.
You can count on Switzerland now and in the future. We will be there for the emergency as well as for the reconstruction. We stand with Ukraine.
Now, it is my privilege to give the floor to his Excellency Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine, for his concluding remarks.
Denys, my friend, the floor is yours.